Built in the 1930s on the Old Quadrangle, the Fine Arts building once housed the Frank Ball art collection, which later grew into the university's Museum of Art.
Near the center of the tract, ten acres bounded by McKinley Avenue, Jarret Street, Talley Street, and Reeves Avenue (now University Avenue) were reserved for the college, known originally as Eastern Indiana Normal University. Anyone who purchased a lot in the development received two free semesters at the school, and half of the money raised by the lot sales was earmarked for campus improvements.
The Administration Building (1898) and Forest Hall (1902), a dormitory, were constructed to house the university, but the school closed in 1902 due to low enrollment and financial difficulties. Several other colleges were opened on the site in the following years, but all quickly failed.
In 1918 the five Ball brothers, who were local industrialists, purchased the foreclosed school at an auction and presented it, along with sixty acres, to the State of Indiana. The school reopened that same year as the Eastern Division of the Indiana State Normal School in Terre Haute. In 1922 the school's name changed to Ball Teachers College to honor the generosity of the Ball brothers.
A great campaign of building began shortly thereafter, centered around the Quadrangle and financed largely by the Ball family. In later years the school's boundaries were greatly expanded to the north and the east of its original site, but the Old Quadrangle remains the historic and symbolic center of campus.